“Extremely disappointed”: GVL chairman reminds spectators to follow restrictions

By Aydin Payne

Goulburn Valley League has warned its junior competition could be over if spectators continue to defy group gathering restrictions.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, the league expressed its dismay about many flouting social distancing guidelines at the opening round of junior action.

The league's under-18 and under-16 football returned alongside the 17-and-under and 15-and-under netball at the weekend.

Although the league highlighted that majority of those in attendance did follow the restrictions, it said too many had shown disregard for the rules.

League chairman David Roff said he was disappointed spectators had not adhered to restrictions at the first round of matches.

“What we saw on the weekend at all matches, was extremely disappointing,” Roff said.

“To have people show a complete disregard to all social distancing guidelines could see the hard work of everyone come undone.

“We ask the public to ensure that only spectators necessary to support participation should attend matches and they must abide by social distancing and current group gathering restrictions at all times.”

Roff went on to say the league will not hesitate to cancel the junior season to safeguard the public from COVID-19.

“As such, the GVL reminds everyone that it is imperative that the restrictions be adhered to from this weekend onwards, otherwise the GVL will have no choice but to cancel the season,” he said.

“Our league has first and foremost had the safety and wellbeing of our participants and communities as it’s number one priority.

“Behaviours exhibited by people not doing the right thing could jeopardise this safety, and if continued unchecked, the league would have no choice but to act and cancel the season in order to protect everyone.”

League operations manager Josephine Spencer emphasised that this season is "not like we are used to".

Spencer asked for spectators to not jeopardise the junior participants’ opportunity to play sport.

“We know that people have been desperate to come along and have a day at the footy and netball, but we respectfully ask people to stay away,” Spencer said.

“Let our juniors play the games they love and don’t take away their opportunity to do so.

“Anyone attending outside of these guidelines is just being selfish.

“If you breach these restrictions, you are leaving yourself open to penalties and fines from Victoria Police.”